AgPLUS Newsletter – November 2016


AgPLUS Quarterly Newsletter: 3rd Edition

A publication of the Central Valley AgPLUS Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium
By Fresno State Office of Community and Economic Development

November 2016, Vol. I Issue 3
AgPLUS is working everyday toward accelerating economic growth in the San Joaquin Valley through the mentorship of established, emerging and future agriculture-related manufacturing businesses and their supporting industries.

AgPLUS, Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) designated initiative, fosters growth and creation of food and beverage businesses and middle-skilled manufacturing jobs while also seeking to optimize the value chain potential for regional producers by promoting the transformation of raw goods into value-added products.

Here at the Office of Community and Economic Development (OCED), our main objective is assisting in the expansion and sustainability of regional businesses and partner organizations. We invite you to contact us and take advantage of our public sector assets in your private sector endeavors.

To learn more about AgPLUS and its IMCP designation, as well as upcoming events, news and available grants, visit

EDA Awards $250,000 to Advance Central Valley
Ag Manufacturing

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Trish Kelly, Executive Director, Valley Vision and Congressman John Garamendi.
Central Valley AgPLUS was recently awarded $250,000 in funding through the EDA's Economic Adjustment Grant. The award supports the AgPLUS Implementation Plan throughout the 28 county Central Valley region. Through this funding, AgPLUS will be able to support new developments in each of the six pillars. For more information, click here.

AgPLUS attends 2016 IMCP Summit
Executive Committee members, Mike Dozier of Fresno State's Office of Community and Economic Development, Trish Kelly of Valley Vision and Dan Ripke of Chico State's Center for Economic Development attended the annual IMCP Summit in Washington DC this October. Learn more about the trip here.


Through AgPLUS, we are tasked with developing and executing strategies for increasing investments into six important pillars of our manufacturing ecosystem. Below is our established and new objectives for each strategic strategy and pillar.

1. Workforce Developmentelectrician-1080554_1920
Strategy #1: 
K-16 Food and Beverage Manufacturing Career Pathways
Strategy #2: Community College-Industry Curriculum and Training Alignment
Recent Developments:
AgPLUS was recently awarded a USDA Rural Business Development Grant, which will provide a series of workforce development workshops in rural areas. The workshops focus will include federal and state grant procurement, micro loan access and growth strategies. Sacramento region lead, Valley Vision will kick off the workshops on November 18 in Winters, CA, while OCED and Chico State will begin implementing workshops in their regions in early 2017.

Planning is well underway for a Workforce Development Summit on February 7, in partnership with California League of Food Processors (CLFP). Coinciding with the Sacramento Food Processing Expo, the event will include panelists from all four regions of AgPLUS to discuss issues and developments for their area's workforce.

In addition to panelist discussions, the event will also release the results of a survey put together by the CLFP to identify key current work training needs. The survey will be distributed to AgPLUS members and partners in Mid-November.


2. Supply Chainroad-train-1185254_1920 2
Strategy #3: 
Supplier Mapping and Match-Making
Recent Developments:
As part of funding through EDA's Economic Adjustment Grant, AgPLUS will begin exploring supply chain mapping activities. This project will provide required information to address critical data gaps and supply leakages while promoting the improvement of value chain integration opportunities.


3. Research & Innovationoffice-594132_1920
Strategy #4: 
Central Valley AgPLUS Research Partnership
Strategy #5: Central Valley Innovation Hub (iHub) Network
Recent Developments:
Fresno State partners were awarded a $5 million dollar grant through the California Energy Commission to promote efficiency in water and energy by identifying entrepreneurs in research and development fields. The award provides resources, services and infrastructure for innovative entrepreneurs to deploy and commercialize new technologies in water and energy that will directly benefit disadvantaged communities. The Valley provides water to 8 million acres of farmland while creating 80 percent of the state's agriculture; this project will provide major benefits to food and beverage manufacturers throughout the IMCP designated area. More information can be found here.

4. Infrastructureconstruction-664705_1920
Strategy #6: 
Rural-Urban Connections Strategy (RUCS) Planning Tools
Recent Developments:
Through the EDA funding, AgPLUS will provide site location and infrastructure assessments for food and beverage manufacturers. This action will help identify ready to use facilities for food and beverage processors and help communities become better prepared for site location opportunities that will greatly improve value chain integration.


5. International Tradeshipping-containers-1150062_1920
Strategy #7: 
Central Valley Export Training Program
Recent Developments:
AgPLUS partner, California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, was a recipient of the U.S. Department of Commerce 2016 Market Development Cooperator Program (MDCP). Recipients are chosen based on a proposal featuring innovative new projects that will generate exports conducive to the creation of new jobs. Learn more about this here.

AgPLUS has been meeting with the French based West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance on a partnership to bring more foreign investment into the Central Valley. The Executive Committee will host a tour for West Coast Entrepreneurial Alliance members of the AgPLUS region in January.


6. Capital Accessfarmer-880567_1280
Strategy #8: 
Regional Finance Fund (Funds of Funds)
Recent Developments:
AgPLUS continues to explore the feasibility in providing a regional finance fund that can be easily accessed by food and beverage manufacturers. Through funding from the EDA's Economic Adjustment Grant, the Consortium will begin planning for a Funders Forum to be held in mid-2017. The Forum will help identify investment opportunities while mobilizing investment in the Valley for food and beverage manufacturing firms.

MAIL calendar PERSON


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The Office of Community & Economic Development at Fresno State is a co-leader on the Central Valley AgPLUS Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium Executive Committee, providing operational support for the IMCP Central Valley AgPLUS Food and Beverage Manufacturing Consortium.
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